Should that end any responsibility or criminal culpability he may have in the matter? The senator evidently thinks that it should.
Ann Althouse poses some interesting questions about why the alleged prostitute has been charged, while one of her self-admitted customers seems to have a well-founded hope that his public statement of contrition will shield him from criminal charges.
Althouse also suggests that Vitter's seemingly noble gesture actually damns the alleged Washington madam before her lawyers have even been able to put on a defense.
Good points. I commented from a Christian perspective:
The last I checked, paying a prostitute is a criminal act.Regular readers of Better Living know that I've discussed forgiveness vs. civil accountability, using the examples of both King David and Mehmet Ali Agca, before. Here are links to previous posts in which one or both have figured:
The senator may well be forgiven by God and his wife. But I point to the Biblical example of King David who, though forgiven for murder and adultery, nonetheless had to deal with grim consequences for his actions.
More recently, I think of Mehmet Ali Agca, the would-be assassin of Pope John Paul II. Some months after he'd recovered from the near-fatal assault, the Pope visited Agca in prison. There, he forgave the apparently repentant gunman. But that didn't mean that the Pope was obliged to secure Agca's release. In fact, Agca finished serving his sentence.
Only cheap versions of the Biblical concept of grace suggest that once forgiven, there shouldn't be punishments for crimes.
It's deeply disturbing that the alleged operator of a prostitution ring has been charged with a crime, while so far anyway, one of her alleged high profile customers thinks he can go scott-free by claiming he's repentant and forgiven.
As a pastor I say, "That's great! Now, let's press charges."
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